Summary: A very truncated look at the history of christianity. This message presupposes that many people believe restoration history bypasses the reformation and catholicism. However, it is unhealthy to not acknowlege our past. Instead we ought to embrace it.
HISTORY: Very, Very Truncated.
“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.” Hebrews 1:1
In trying to better understand our Babel mentality, I decided that it was time to dive into an historical study of where the church has been and what the church has built in the last two-thousand years. The rabbit hole was too deep and there were too many tunnels so an in-depth study could become my life-time journey and that is not the intention of this compilation. I did, however, spend much time on the highlights of Christian history. And in just those highlights alone, I have seen Babel builders again and again!
It is essential that we study history because it is through history that we have journeyed. God has always used events in this world to work His divine and powerful will. While reflecting on this thought I was brought back to something that I have heard said by various groups; that they believe themselves to be the first church (ourselves included in this claim). “We are the first church because we believe that we have bypassed all of history and returned entirely to the text to restore that which once was!” I have also spoken with my orthodox relatives and have been apprised emphatically that they are indeed the first church and we are not, to which I ignorantly and youthfully responded, “uh…you’re wrong…I think!” I would like for us to clearly see that History has once and always shaped the church and that we have very much been influenced by it. We know that “nothing is new under the sun” and that “there is a time for everything.” We read passages like Hebrews 1:1 that tells us that God used people in the past and His Son in the present to communicate with His creation. We follow the History of the Jews and see clearly that God lead His people through a scathing and glorious history. Victorious battles, painful captivities, agonizingly immoral leaders and kings, and various prophets. We look to our past to better ourselves for the future, we remember, we try to not repeat the mistakes of the past, we use our experience to gain knowledge and understanding, and we grow through the pains and victories we have undergone.
Annually North America remembers the veterans who have fought or are fighting in many various wars. We have memorials for lives lost, and for history changing events. We celebrate the past, we honor the past, we rejoice in the past, and we weep over the past. It would be offensive for us to ignore what has been spent for our freedom. The past is an essential part of our journey; we cannot say that we bypass it! Church has travelled through history, and has been shaped by its trials, memories, and experiences; to deny this is to deny that God has worked His will through time.
We are creatures of time! How many of us look at a clock at least once per day? How many where a watch? For the most part, we schedule our lives and live by the calendar. You are currently taking time to read with the hope that your time will be well spent. We spend time, we waste time, we know when it’s bed time or lunch time, or even if we are out of time because time flies. Unless we are children waiting for Christmas morning, in which case, time crawls. We know when it’s wake up time, and kids know best when it is home time. If it’s time to go, or time to run, or time to talk, or if we talk all the time, that there is a time for everything under the sun. We hope upon hope that time heals all wounds, that time will tell, and that we find out in the nick of it! Time! Past, present, and future are all that we had, have or will have. Many of us try to suppress the past, pretending that it didn’t happen, or that it is too late for it to make any difference. Many worry about the future, about what kind of things will happen that will shape history. I recently watched a documentary called “2012: Science or Superstition .” The documentary’s soul intention was to produce a question inside of the viewers; “is it possible that something bad will happen in the near future?” The documentary is about the Mayan calendar, how it is saying that December 21, 2012 is the end of the calendar, and thus could well be the end of the world (or at least the end of this cycle of time). I can almost picture the tattered, and dirty transient, wearing his finger gloves, and his fur lined hat standing on the street corner holding his “THE END IS NEAR” sandwich board sign, crying out, “Get ready, the end times are upon us!” How much of our “time” is dedicated to the worry about the future? However, the rare few of us will spend time focused on the present and disregard any fear of the future, or any hope of the better past. What it comes down to is this, past, present and future are so deeply intertwined with one another that we cannot dismiss one for the other. I preached a sermon called “NOW!” once. The primary emphasis of the message was; now is the only time that is real, the rest is gone or not hear yet, so we need only to focus on the now not the then. I believe that I was both right and wrong in my message, the Bible tells us, “do not worry about tomorrow, for today has enough worries of its own!” This passage makes my message at least a little sound, however, I was wrong in that we are also told to “count the cost” which basically means plan well. The other way in which I was mistaken is that, we must also consider the text in our daily lives. The Bible is a historically based canon, that takes us on a journey through the analogous past, “God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. ” If we reject our heritage, bypass it, we do a grand injustice to its capabilities. History is essential for our present and our future, without it, there is neither! A wise person once told me that “History is His-Story!”